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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sir Alex hails young charges

Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted with the way his young players applied themselves in the Carling Cup third round victory over Middlesbrough.

The Reds' boss handed debuts to goalkeeper Ben Amos and striker Danny Welbeck with Angolan striker Manucho also entering the fray for the first time as a late sub, while Brazilians Rafael da Silva and Rodrigo Possebon made their first competitive starts in a red shirt.

In the end it was the more experienced players of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs and Nani who sealed the 3-1 win with a trio of well-taken goals, but Sir Alex was clearly buoyed by what he saw from some of his budding stars.

"They did very well, particularly in the first half. Some of the football was terrific and I enjoyed seeing that," declared the United manager in an interview with MUTV.

"They played with great expression and created some good chances which was nice to see. It was a good performance and I'm very pleased."

As well as blooding some of his young charges, the tie provided Sir Alex with the opportunity to field a number of first team squad members in need of games.

"Anderson, for example, has been feeling the effects of being in China [at the Olympic Games]," revealed the boss.

"Adrenalin got him through his first match at Portsmouth, but since then he's been a bit low. But tonight he was back to himself which was great to see.

"John O'Shea was another who needed some minutes on the clock so it's been a good night for us in that sense."

Good news for Possebon

United's medical staff have confirmed that Rodrigo Possebon has not suffered a break after being stretchered off against Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.

The 19-year-old Brazilian midfielder was in agony following a challenge from Middlesbrough captain Emanuel Pogatetz after an hour of the Reds' 3-1 Carling Cup third round win.

A club spokesperson told on Wednesday morning: "We can confirm that Rodrigo did not suffer a break to his right leg. He was kept in hospital overnight for observation and to assess whether there was any ligament damage to his knee."

At the moment, however, everyone at the club is just pleased to hear that Possebon's injury does not involve a serious break as was first feared.

Sir Alex said after the match: "For the kid to make his first start and get an injury like that is pretty horrendous. I think everyone was numb for about ten minutes afterwards and it killed our momentum a little bit. I saw a few replays of it, but I don't want to see it again. It was just terrible."

Despite being initially disappointed by Pogatetz's reaction to his subsequent red card, but he praised Boro boss Gareth Southgate for his attitude after the game.

"I couldn't understand it [his reaction], he should have walked straight off," said the manager. "One of the guys on their bench was screaming that it was never a sending off and there was nothing wrong with Rodrigo. Middlesbrough have apologised though. Gareth Southgate was very good. He understood the gravity of it and was very apologetic."